42 people who were supposed to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine were mistakenly injected with a monoclonal antibody treatment at the Boone County Health Department in West Virginia.
The antibody drug is manufactured by Regeneron to treat COVID-19 and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the drug for emergency uses only. It is the same drug given to President Trump when he became infected with Covid-19.
Regeneron’s antibody drug is normally injected intravenously in the patient, not injected directly in muscles like the vaccine. But unfortunately, all those 42 people received the antibody drug intramuscularly.
The West Virginia National Guard said that all the 42 people who received the antibody have been contacted and informed about the incident. None of them has shown any side effects so far.
Health officials believe the antibody injection is not harmful but they will follow up with all the 42 patients regularly as a safety measure.
The West Virginia National Guard said that it was an isolated incident and the mix-up happened during the delivery of the Regeneron’s antibody vaccines to a distribution center, where the antibody vials were placed with the Moderna vaccine. Workers at the distribution center then placed the antibody vials in a shipment of vaccines to Boone County. But other shipments of the vaccine have not been affected.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that the Moderna vaccination should be deferred in individuals who received monoclonal antibodies for at least 90 days as a precautionary measure to avoid interference of the antibody treatment with vaccine-induced immune responses.
However, the West Virginia National Guard told ABC News that all 42 individuals are being offered the vaccine today.
The blunder happened at the time when thousands of people across the country are infected with the deadly coronavirus and are waiting for the vaccination.
In West Virginia, about 1,109 COVID-19 cases and 20 deaths were reported on Thursday and 85,300 COVID-19 cases and 1,300 deaths were reported total since the covid-19 outbreak began.